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Worsening Sand Crisis? Only 50% demand is met daily in AP

Only around 50 per cent of the daily demand for sand in Andhra Pradesh is being met now with several sand reaches are still under floodwater. Out of the total 276 sand reaches and de-siltation points in the State, only 64-65 reaches are functioning now. 
 
Heavy rains in the catchment areas of rivers are blamed for the present situation. It is expected to return to normal within a fortnight as the floods have started receding. According to  the Mines and Geology Principal Secretary K. Ramgopal, the situation is unprecedented.
 
Release of Krishna water from Prakasam Barrage for nearly 80 days is unprecedented and same is the case with the Godavari. The floods have resulted in unavailability of sand in adequate quantity for the last 3 to 4 months. 
 
The requirement of sand varies in a year depending on the season. Rainy season is a lean period for construction activity when the requirement of sand is not much. The demand for sand is at its peak in summer. In winter, the demand is normal. 
 
On an average, the daily requirement of sand is 1 lakh metric tonnes. At present, 40,000 to 45,000 tonnes of sand per day is being supplied on an average from the main reaches and de-siltation points. 
 
“Now, we are able to get sand from those in Nellore (Penna basin) and Srikakulam districts (Vamsadhara river), where the floods are on and off. But in rest of the places, especially in Godavari and Krishna delta regions, there is no scope to get adequate sand. Further, we are also mining sand in patta lands. At the same time, we are also using sand in the stockyards of some construction companies, which was procured during the free sand policy period to meet the demand,” Ramgopal explained.
 
On the proposed ‘Sand Week’, he said it is meant to increase the availability of the construction material with a focused approach when the floodwater recedes. It has been proposed to increase the sand stock points in the State from 90 to 150 to meet the demand, he said. 
 
However, sources in the government said the present situation was the result of the ‘indecisiveness’ of the current regime. The state is currently witnessing the construction activity which came to a grinding halt.  

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